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The Crime Writer – with author Jill Dawson
Tue 28 June 2016, 19:30 – 21:00 BST
About the book
In 1964, the eccentric American novelist Patricia Highsmith is hiding out in a cottage in Suffolk, to concentrate on her writing and escape her fans. She has another motive too - a secret romance with a married lover based in London.
Unfortunately it soon becomes clear that all her demons have come with her. Prowlers, sexual obsessives, frauds, imposters, suicides and murderers: the tropes of her fictions clamour for her attention, rudely intruding on her peaceful Suffolk retreat. After the arrival of Ginny, an enigmatic young journalist bent on interviewing her, events take a catastrophic turn. Except, as always in Highsmith's troubled life, matters are not quite as they first appear...
Masterfully recreating Highsmith's much exercised fantasies of murder and madness, Jill Dawson probes the darkest reaches of the imagination in this novel - at once a brilliant portrait of a writer and an atmospheric, emotionally charged, riveting tale.
About the author
Jill Dawson has often drawn on real figures and events for her novels, which include Fred and Edie about the murderess Edith Thompson, shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award and the Orange Prize, The Great Lover about Rupert Brooke, which was a Richard & Judy Summer Read, and Wild Boy about the first recorded case of autism in 18th-century France. With The Crime Writer she has surpassed herself – it is at once an extraordinary act of ventriloquism, a nuanced and empathetic portrait of a tortured soul, and a gripping story of desire and murderous intent.
She lives in the Fens with her husband, two sons and foster daughter.